Five Interesting Courses in a Game Design Degree Program

Game Design Courses

  • Computer Science
  • Game Art
  • Game Design
  • Multiplatform Software Development
  • Systems Thinking

Today’s game design degree program is all about preparing the student for the current, rapidly progressing state of electronic gaming as well as the creation of that gaming. To keep up with what’s to come, there’s plenty you need to know. The good news, however, is that there is lots of interesting material to keep you engaged throughout this study program. So, to give you a taste of the specific types of courses you can expect to encounter in a typical game design degree program, here are five course rundowns from within most programs.

Computer Science

The study of computer science teaches students the ins and outs of how computers work in a physical sense as well as the virtual sense. This is a fundamental, building block type of knowledge that is usually required early on in the program. Learn about social networks, search engines and metasearch engines, programming language, the flow of data within a computer, hardware, software, and much more. By understanding these concepts, one can truly move on to more finite subjects in video game creation.

Game Art

Game art is a course that covers the all-important aspect of art found in games today. This doesn’t simply refer to a virtual painting on a wall in a game, but rather the totality of visual media that one encounters while playing a game. How characters look, the appearance of environmental elements such as grass and clouds, and even what those monstrous villains look like all fall under the umbrella of gaming art. As a result, several rounds of game art courses are likely to be encountered by the gaming design degree student.

Game Design

It can be understandably easy to confuse game art and game design. These two disciplines are, after all, quite closely related working partners. As opposed to the visual aspect of game art, game design actually delves into the overall theories behind game building, designing, and development. Proficiency here means proficiency in the overall production process and design tools used in the making of nearly all games today.

Multiplatform Software Development

As its name suggests, the multiplatform software design course represents the portion of your gaming design degree program that is concerned with cross-platform functionality in games. Games quite often need to be able to work on several platforms these days. This means that data formats and lots of other factors must be able to be translated from one platform to the next, and as seamlessly as possible. This course is one that provides the knowledge necessary in this important area.

Systems Thinking

Finally, we take a look at systems thinking. This course addresses the other, holistic side to the greater effect of video games on society. How greatly has society been affected by continually modernized gaming? What do key academics say the future holds for the virtual universe and the gaming world that resides within it? For the greater perspective outside of making games, this typically required course provides that elevated awareness key to true professionals of the trade.

As so simply stated by PBS writer Michael Dolan, “because game designers are inhibited only by creativity and available technology, the potential will grow as their capability to move more polygons cheaply comes to fruition — something that the computer industry is working on every day”. Because of this simple truth, the demand for games and their designers is not foreseeable to end anytime soon. If you are considering a game design degree program, classes such as those touched on here will prepare you for a quite secure lifetime of always being in demand.

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